Weekend energy reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Power Prices, Regulation, Wind  -  February 4, 2017

Weekend reads: GOP alters climate tone; anxiety rises at labs; BlackRock dives into pipelines & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads:

Mounting anxiety for climate research at national labs (E&E News): Scientists are concerned that climate change research may be in the crosshairs at the Department of Energy under the Trump administration. Reports that agencies like U.S. EPA and the Department of Agriculture are facing communications restrictions, along with recent proposals from the Trump transition team for drastic cuts in environmental science in federal agencies, have some researchers at DOE's venerable national laboratories worried that they might be next.

Republicans Try a New Tack on Climate Change (The New York Times): Not long ago, many Republican officeholders had a simple answer when asked about the changing climate: What changing climate? But the public began to notice the heat waves and the torrential rains and the tidal flooding. So then we had the "I am not a scientist" phase, with one lawmaker after another fending off climate questions with that formula. That drew such ridicule that Republicans critical of climate science had to come up with a more nuanced answer. Several variations on the new approach were on display recently during confirmation hearings for some of President Trump's cabinet nominees.

Zibelman exit interview: How the New York REV is paving the way for transactive energy (Utility Dive): For departing New York PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman, the quest to remake the utility system began with a single jolt. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy walloped the East Coast, putting Manhattan underwater for weeks and leaving millions without power. It was then, Zibelman says, that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) decided to act. "Cuomo said, for us, climate change is a reality and we have to go about building a more resilient network and rethinking our energy industry," Zibelman told the audience at DistribuTECH 2017, the transmission and distribution trade show in San Diego.

BlackRock Goes $3.7 Billion Deeper Into Pipelines and Power (The Wall Street Journal): The world’s largest asset manager is buying $3.7 billion in funds that invest in pipelines, power plants and wind farms, expanding on a bet that investors will want to back more infrastructure projects around the world. BlackRock Inc. has agreed to acquire two energy infrastructure funds and the 37-person team that runs them from private-equity firm First Reserve Corp.

Gargantuan offshore wind turbine crushes record for most energy produced in 24 hours (Digitial Trends): There's a massive offshore wind turbine in Østerild, Denmark breaking energy generation records left and right. The Goliath of wind turbines generated nearly 216,000 kWh over 24 hours during its December test, breaking the previous record for energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine. To put the numbers in perspective, that’s enough energy to power the average American household for roughly 20 years.

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